March 20, 2020 / 11:02 AM / 12 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold jumps 3%, platinum 8% as stimulus stalls cash hunt

 (Updates prices)
    * Rising risk appetite may ease pressure on gold -analyst
    * Platinum set to post worst week ever
    * Silver set for 2nd weekly decline of about 15%
    * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus:
open
tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser. 

    By Harshith Aranya
    March 20 (Reuters) - Gold prices jumped over 3% while
platinum surged over 8% on Friday, as precious metals rebounded
sharply on a lull in the rush for cash after global action to
reduce the economic impact of the coronavirus lifted market
sentiment.
    Spot gold        was up 2.2% at $1,501.83 per ounce at 1217
GMT, having risen as much as 3.1% earlier. It fell 1% on
Thursday, and is en route to a 2% weekly decline. U.S. gold
futures         climbed 1.8% to $1,505.70.
    Platinum        rose 4.4% to $612.03, having risen as much
as 8.5% earlier. But the metal is still set to post its biggest
ever weekly fall.
    "This (rising precious metals prices) could be a dead cat
bounce," said Samson Li, a Hong Kong-based precious metals
analyst at Refinitiv GFMS.
    "There is speculative interest in gold and other risky
assets, as the market is betting on a technical rebound, but it
may not hold for very long, assuming the U.S. situation is
getting worse due to the virus."
    European shares jumped for a second straight day as fiscal
and monetary stimulus lured investors back into equities.      
           
    The U.S. Federal Reserve opened the taps for central banks
in nine new countries to access dollars in hopes of preventing
the outbreak from causing a global economic rout.             
     
    Several countries rolled out measures to stem the economic
damage, with the U.S. Senate unveiling a $1 trillion stimulus
plan, while the Bank of England promised 200 billion pounds 
($236 billion) of bond purchases and cut its key interest rate.
                         
    "We have strong gains over various asset classes, markets
are recovering on monetary and fiscal policy measures to weather
the economic impact of the virus," said Quantitative Commodity
Research analyst Peter Fertig.
    "If risk appetite increases, you don't stay in safe
havens... but with rising stock and bond prices, the pressure on
gold is easing."
    However, pointing to the growing economic risks, the number
of Americans filing for unemployment benefits surged by the most
since 2012 last week.             
    Elsewhere, palladium        fell 1.1% to $1,634.57 per
ounce. 
    Platinum and palladium will remain turbulent in coming
months, analysts said.             
    Palladium could fall below $1,000 if global GDP continues to
be hampered by the virus, and silver below $10, GFMS' Li said.
    Silver        gained 4% to $12.60 an ounce, but was set to
be down for the second straight week.

($1 = 0.8480 pounds)

 (Reporting by Harshith Aranya, Sumita Layek and Arpan Varghese
in Bengaluru; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise and Elaine
Hardcastle)
  
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